Tremolo

Pronunciation: TREH-muh-low


What is Tremolo?

Tremolo is a musical effect defined as the production of rapid modulation of volume. It is considered to be one of the greatest effects in music.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tremolo is a musical effect characterized by a pulsating or warbling sound, creating the sensation of motion.
  2. Tremolo is played without changing the pitch.
  3. Tremolo creates a dynamic sound that can’t be achieved by playing a single note at a fixed value.

Understanding Tremolo

Tremolo is also often confused with vibrato, and although both are quite similar to each other, there is a major difference between the two: in vibrato, there is a modulation of the pitch, whereas in tremolo, there is not.

Both, however, are described as a puslating or vibrating sound, and both creating a dynamic effect. Tremolo is mostly applied on bowed string instruments but not exclusively.

To illustrate further, Tremolo is playing a single note rapidly from loud to soft and back to loud again while still sustaining the same pitch.

Related Terms

Dynamics Dynamics is the term that conveys the variation in loudness between notes or phrases in musical composition. more

Decrescendo Decrescendo is a type of dynamic change in a musical composition. more

Fortissimo Fortissimo is a type of musical dynamic that means “very loud.” more

Flautando Flautando is a directive in music reserved for string instruments such a the violin, viola, and cello. more

Intonation Intonation is defined as the rise and fall of tonal pitch in a musical performance. more

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